Sci-Fantasy Summer


I visited a few bookstores today (including a small independent Science Fiction/Fantasy bookstore) and ended up making some purchases.  I've decided to read a lot of science fiction and fantasy this summer, since I quite enjoy it and it's a nice break from all the law reading I do. 

I've decided to adopt the tentative goal of reading all the novels that have been nominated for a Hugo before Worldcon this summer, when the Hugos will be presented.  This way I'll actually have a legitimate opinion on who deserves to win the award.  To that end, today I bought Spin by Robert Charles Wilson, Old Man's War but John Scalzi, and Accelerando by Charles Stross.  I'll eventually pick up Learning the World: A Scientific Romance by Ken MacLeod, and I already own A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin, the fifth nominee. Of course, to read Feast I'll first need to finish A Storm of Swords which is 1200 pages.  Considering I'm only on page 300, I've got work to do.  Plus right now I'm reading Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, which I've been putting off due to school and now have a change to get into.  I also picked up The James Tiptree Award Anthology, Volume 1, which I'm quite excited about. 

Hopefully, then, I'll have some reviews up as I finish.  Fortunately I've got a nice long subway commute to work, so I should have time to get regular reading done.  The Hugo Awards will be announced at Worldcon in LA on Saturday, August 26th, so I've a bit more than three months to get these books read.  The full list of Hugo nominees is here.


Wooo! You're starting Daughter of the Empire!

By the way, Jacob has picked up the Song of Ice and Fire books again. He's somewhere in A Clash of Kings, complaining bitterly about it, and still reading. It's slightly strange.

I'm quite liking Daughter of the Empire so far; I was about to pick it up and read some more. I'm about to page 80 (she's making a deal with the clanless warriors right now).

I'm honestly very surprised that Feast for Crows got a Hugo nomination; it's odd because I don't think the prior books have been nominated (if they had, I'm sure it'd be plastered all over their respective jackets) and Feast was supposedly a bit of a let-down (not a bad book, per se, but there's a sentiment that the pace has slowed and Martin is spending too much time getting every fiddling detail in at the expense of moving the plot along). Maybe it was a slow year for good Science Fiction/Fantasy, though I've heard great things about Accelerando and Spin.

I don't suffer under the illusion that Game of Thrones is any kind of good literature. But as J. Bradford Delong, Berkeley Econ professor and blogger, says, sometimes you need a fix of Horse. And Martin gives good Horse.

I think you mean he gives good mighty black destrier, sporting a wrought silver bridle and the colors of the great house for which it has been sent into battle. The day George R. R. Martin calls a horse a horse I will fall over from the shock.

That said, a quick look at my bookshelf reveals what is probably more Horse than respectable literature. After all, I own three Brian Jacques books and half of everything Piers Anthony has ever written. It's always been my opinion that it's hugely important to read, but what you read is secondary and up to your own personal tastes. If it in some way falls short of greatness? The time you spend reading it is still more valuable than the time anyone else could spend complaining about it.

I'm tempted to pick up A Clash of Kings again once Jacob's done with it; despite my obvious and probably predictable differences with Martin's writing style, I still find him compelling. I'm trying to first finish up a book that I didn't quite complete for Mediterranean Anthro, though (and maybe do some reviews of the books I read for that class this semester, since most of them were stunningly good). Then I predict that I'll either get back into my usual fantasy and sci-fi leisure reading (I've got a LeGuin book out of the library that I've started and not yet finished), or decide I'm sick of everything I have and go and try to learn Sanskrit again. Now accepting bets on which.

Oh, which LeGuin?

The Lathe of Heaven. It looks good so far and comes highly recommended.

Did you ever know that Ursula K. LeGuin is Alfred Kroeber's daughter? I'm shocked at how recently I found this out.

Wow, really? Huh.

I've actually never read any LeGuin. I think I own three or four of her books, but have never gotten around to them.

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on May 22, 2006 2:44 AM.

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